When Pumpkins Lose Their Perk



by Barbara Roberts

St. Andrew Green Team


How long did you spend searching for the perfect carving pumpkin and the most attractive squash and gourds for decorating? As seasonal favorites, their character and beauty cannot be matched. But what to do when, after a few weeks, their perk has peaked?


Each year 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins, gourds and squash are tossed into landfills after the holidays. As they decompose they release methane, a dangerous gas that contributes to climate change. So instead of tossing them into the garbage (landfill) bin, consider these options:


1. Chop them up and use them for compost, or put in your green yard waste bin. Remove any candles and/or wax. They will help make the soil rich to grow our future decorations.


2. Feed them to the animals. If you have neighborhood chickens or goats, check with their owners to see if they can use some. And don't forget the deer, racoons and other wild critters. You can leave chopped up pumpkins, squash and gourds near the tree line of forest areas.


3. Eat them! As long as the meat in your pumpkins hasn’t started to deteriorate or been exposed to the air, they should be just fine to process and cook into a nutritious puree or other favorite recipe.